General Question

ava's avatar

Several Questions Rolled Into One: What measurements were originally used to determine foot size? Who was the first to measure feet for shoes? Why are the measurements different for men and women and different countries?

Asked by ava (977points) August 16th, 2007

My size is a 7.5 US (It's not inches...what is it? And I'm a boys 4.5 what's that all about? And in European sizes I'm 37, geez!)

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4 Answers

mirza's avatar

The foot as a measure was used in almost all cultures and was usually divided into 12, sometimes 10 inches/thumbs or into 16 fingers/digits. The first known standard foot measure was from Sumer, where a definition is given in a statue of Gudea of Lagash from around 2575 BC. Some metrologists speculate that the imperial foot was adapted from an Egyptian measure by the Greeks, with a subsequent larger foot being adopted by the Romans.Some believe that the original measurement of the English foot was from King Henry I, who had a foot 12 inches long; he wished to standardise the unit of measurement in England. However this is unlikely, because there are records of the word being used approximately 70 years before his birth (Laws ?thelstan).

The reason why measurements are different is becauseiIn 1958 the United States and countries of the Commonwealth of Nations defined the length of the international yard to be 0.9144 metres. Consequently, the international foot is defined to be equal to 0.3048 metres (equivalent to 304.8 millimetres).

segdeha's avatar

Crap, mirza... why in the world would you know that? Are you some kind of footologist?

andrew's avatar

mirza -- wrong type of feet!

mirza's avatar

andrew - i just realized that i answered the wrong question
so heres the history of how the shoe sizes came about
http://www.sizefinder.com/where_did_sizes_come_from.htm

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